Principle Elements of Design & Engineering
In the R&D stages of OneBlade, our designers and engineers tested thousands of iterations of razor prototypes in pursuit of a system that could shave with the closeness and efficiency of a straight razor but maintain a mild, gentle finish and require an overall minimal learning curve — it sounds simple enough, but there’s really nothing like this on the market today (that is, before OneBlade).
By the end of our testing phase, we successfully identified three critical elements that we realized we would need to incorporate into any razor model to achieve our target shave:
- OPTIMAL HEAD DESIGN: We conducted hundreds of separate tests to reveal that BLADE ANGLE, BLADE GAP, and BLADE EXPOSURE could be fixed positionally to cut hair effectively for the typical user without delivering an aggressive shaving experience (offering a very minimal susceptibility to cuts and nicks). By also incorporating very prominent “REFERENECE SURFACES” on the front of the razor — flat surfaces above and below where the blade protrudes — we could enable the user to easily engage and maintain this optimal shaving form at all times. Lastly, we found that by enabling a tiny amount of motion allowance between the blade and its interaction with the razor head parts (a patent-pending innovation referred to as the “ACTIVE FLOATING BLADE APPROACH SYSTEM”), the razor offers even more forgiveness without any sacrifice to closeness.
PIVOT FOR ADDED FORGIVENESS: While many so called “innovations” with today’s cartridge razors have no discernible impact on overall shaving performance, our team found that incorporating a PIVOTING HEAD did in fact positively affect the shaving experience. Specifically, a pivoting head allows a user to more easily control the amount of pressure being applied to the shaving surface; it also helps the user maintain the ideal shaving angle regardless of active hand positioning. However, not just any pivot is ideal… and if implemented incorrectly, it can actually hinder the overall shaving experience. It took our team hundreds of tests to discover the optimal balance of PIVOT POINT and SPRING FORCE required for maximum shave efficiency.
PERFECT BLADES: Our team tested blades of various materials… from steel (stainless and high carbon alloys), to ceramic, tungsten carbide, and amorphous metals… along with various forms of blade coatings… from Teflon, ceramic, platinum and boron carbides... in pursuit of a blade solution that would allow for an ultra-close and comfortable shave experience when coupled with the optimal head design and pivot. Through months of testing blades alone, we found that blade THICKNESS, MATERIAL, EDGE FINISHING, and COATING all had a very significant impact on shave performance…. And that a little-known razor blade model was already available on the market that was optimal in each category — the FHS-10 SINGLE EDGE BLADE, made by Feather of Japan. The FHS-10 blade features a 0.23 millimeter thickness, making it nearly twice as thick as the average double edge razor blade — we found this to positively impact shave performance as a function of durability, reliability, and comfort. The FHS-10 model is also built using Japanese stainless steel, which we found to be superior in this application to stainless steel produced in other countries, notably that from Sweden and Germany. These blades undergo Feather’s proprietary edge finishing process which leaves them exceptionally sharp AND perfectly smooth. Lastly, the blades get coated in platinum, ensuring an even smoother finish with added durability.
Outside of the above elements, which have the greatest impact on overall shaving performance, we identified a few other key features to make our ideal razor an even more enjoyable and user-friendly experience, including:
INTUITIVE QUICK-LOAD BLADE SYSTEM: With a quick-load blade system, blades could snap into place with an audible click through the rear of the razor head — no unscrewing, twisting, or separating of parts is necessary, making blade handling a safer and more convenient process compared to other traditional safety razors.
RINSE-FRIENDLY OPEN FRAMEWORK: We wanted our razor to be as clean and simple as possible from a design standpoint, so we meticulously thought about every single surface that would be necessary to achieve our target shave. When it came to the razor head parts, we wanted to maintain an open framework, notably an almost entirely exposed bottom surface, to make the razor extremely rinse-friendly.
ERGONOMIC WEIGHT: Ergonomics was carefully considered throughout every stage of design with OneBlade. Thus, we realized that incorporating a balanced weighted handle was paramount as it would allow users to have greater control for a more precise shave.
Both OneBlade CORE and OneBlade GENESIS incorporate all six of the above elements which we identified from R&D as paramount to both form and function to provide an optimal shave experience.
Now, let’s jump into the differences between each razor…
Materials & Manufacturing — OneBlade GENESIS
For our original, award-winning OneBlade GENESIS razor, we opted to use the best materials and manufacturing processes available in such an application.
Key Features & Takeaways of OneBlade GENESIS:
More than 50+ individual steps required to build each GENESIS razor set (more than half of which are performed by hand)
We use metal injection molding technology
We coat the head and handle parts with a military-grade PVD coating along with a UV anti-fingerprinting resin coating
We hand-match each part prior to assembly, then hand-polish and hand-brush every accent of the razor
We use a solid stainless steel spring for the pivot, which gets coated in Teflon (PTFE) for increased durability and to provide a “noise-free” operation
We individually serial number each razor — these get logged into our internal database and marked with buyer information as part of our lifetime warranty policy
We include a razor display stand that’s also built using 316L solid stainless steel, gets treated with PVD and a UV anti-fingerprinting resin coating, and includes an installed EVA cushion along the bottom surface (for countertop protection)
Materials & Manufacturing — OneBlade CORE
With OneBlade CORE, our goal was to build a razor that maintained the “core” attributes of our GENESIS razor — meaning that there would be little-to-no no compromise in overall shaving performance — but incorporated materials and a manufacturing process that would ultimately allow us to offer the razor model at a much more accessible price.
Key Features & Takeaways of OneBlade CORE:
Razor is built with a much simpler and automated process
We use plastic injection molding technology
We use an engineer-grade polymer known as Tritan™ for the handle and head parts, but we do install a solid stainless steel rod through the handle for added weight
We use the same solid stainless steel spring as GENESIS for the pivot which gets coated in Teflon (PTFE) for increased durability and to provide a “noise-free” operation
We include a razor display stand that’s built using 1.5mm thick anodized aluminum
Design & Specs — OneBlade GENESIS vs. OneBlade CORE
Both razors follow the same principle design & spec profile, however there are a few subtle differences…
Head Parts: The head parts of CORE are slightly thickened to increase the durability of the polymer used in place of solid stainless steel with GENESIS.
Shaving Performance — OneBlade GENESIS vs. OneBlade CORE
Because each razor incorporates every key element identified as critical from our R&D phase and follows an extremely similar design profile, overall shaving performance between each razor varies only slightly.
Blade Exposure / "Shave Closeness": We did decide to slightly reduce the level of blade exposure with our CORE razors compared to GENESIS, which makes the model a bit more mild / user-friendly and "cut safe". Technically speaking, the gap of both razors is the same (0.65mm), but by slightly changing the internal ramping mechanism in the head parts to accommodate friction between stainless steel blades and our polymer material, we altered how the blade sits between the gap, which reduces overall angle and exposure.
Ultimately, we believe that OneBlade GENESIS is the optimal level of exposure required to get a superior shave that’s far, far easier than any other single blade razor on the market… however it still requires some new skills / new techniques in the beginning and an understanding of the correct pressure required while shaving. Press down too hard, like you might with a cartridge razor, and it is very possible to cut yourself. With CORE, on the other hand, by slightly reducing blade exposure, we’ve made the razor a bit easier to start with, particularly for guys who are brand new to single blade shaving and/or would prefer not to work on shaving technique.
Ergonomics: Again, by switching from the use of all solid stainless steel parts for GENESIS to a Tritan™ polymer for CORE, that did have an impact on overall razor weight. We did include an inserted stainless steel rod for CORE in the handle, but GENESIS still weighs 25% more than CORE (88 grams vs 66 grams respectively). This weight difference is subtle, but ergonomically speaking, we find the increased weight of GENESIS to be a bit more optimal for balance and control.
So Which Razor is Right for You?
If you’re looking for a world-class shaving experience every day in the comfort of your own home, OneBlade GENESIS is undoubtedly for you — it includes the most advanced technology on the market today and is the best all-around shaving experience we have to offer. It will require a bit more technique building in the first week or two, but it includes the exact dimensions we found to be optimal in R&D for getting a perfect shave that’s incredibly easy to master.
On the other hand, if you’re new to single blade shaving and want to try OneBlade before investing in GENESIS… OR, if you prefer an overall easier, more mild shave experience with a lesser learning curve (albeit very slight), than OneBlade CORE is perfect for you. It’s worth mentioning that we do offer all OneBlade CORE customers the ability to apply their purchase amount to a GENESIS razor, so upgrading between models is always an option.
At the foundation of OneBlade is a commitment to restore all the best attributes and experiences of traditional shaving, using innovative design and modern engineering. Shaving is a job. It should be done well… And it should be accomplished and enjoyed while using the very best equipment.
Now, regardless of your budget and what you’re targeting from an experience standpoint, we have the right tool for you.
Hopefully I have addressed every question you may have about our razor models in this post, but please don’t hesitate to comment in the feed below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Thanks for reading!
P.S. If you enjoyed this "insider read", make sure to check out my last product development post if you haven't done so already — Inside Look: The New "Black Tie" Shaving Kit.
Additional Recommended Reading:
Inside Look: The New "Black Tie" Shaving Kit
OneBlade 10-Blade Challenge
Completing the OneBlade Shave: Shaving Under the Nose